On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified a new variant, B.1.1.529. It is named Omicron. No cases of this variant have been found in the U.S. to date. CDC is following the details of this new variant. It was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by South Africa. CDC is working with other U.S. and global public health and industry partners to learn more. CDC will continue to monitor its path.
CDC is always watching variants. The U.S. variant watching system has reliably detected new variants in this country. We expect Omicron to be identified quickly, if it emerges in the U.S.
CDC knows what it takes to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They recommend people follow prevention strategies:
Wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of high transmission areas
Washing your hands frequently
Physically distancing from others
CDC also recommends that everyone 5 years and older protect themselves from COVID-19 by getting fully vaccinated. CDC encourages a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for those who are eligible.
1 in 4 adults in the United States has a disability.
What is a disability?
A disability is when a person’s body, mind and/or emotional functions intersect with a physical or social environment. This results in limitation in activities or restrictions in full participation for the person.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data outlines the disability status of U.S. adults. It shows that:
12.0% of adults have a Cognitive Disability
5.9% of adults have a Hearing Disability
12.8% of adults have a Mobility Disability
5.0% of adults have a Vision Disability
3.8% of adults have a Self-care Disability
7.0% of adults have an Independent Living Disability
People with disabilities are diverse and have a wide-range of healthcare and support needs.
This infographic highlights the challenges facing the disability community. It shows clear steps that can be taken to support the health and well-being of this community.
The Clear Communication Index (Index) provides research-based criteria to develop and assess public communication products. The Index supports the efforts of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to comply with the Plain Writing Act of 2010. Helps to achieve goals set forth in the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy and the CDC Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy.
The 20 items in the Index build on and expand plain language technique described in the Federal Plain Language Guidelines.
The Index at a Glance
Why Was the Index Developed?
The Index was developed to:
1. Identify the most important communication characteristics that enhance clarity and aid understanding of public messages and materials.
2. Provide a research-based tool for staff to develop and assess communication products for CDC’s audiences, no matter the format or distribution channel.
Who Should Use the Index?
CDC designed the Index for:
– CDC staff who write, edit, design, and review communication products for the public
– Contractors who produce materials for CDC
– Anyone who develops public health communication materials can use the Index.
How Does the Index Work?
The Index contains 20 items, each with a numerical score of zero or one. The individual scores are converted to an overall score on a scale of 100. Although 100 is an ideal score, 90 or higher is passing.
The Index assesses materials in these 7 areas:
1. Main Message and Call to Action
3. Information Design
4. State of the Science
5. Behavioral Recommendations
Estimated time required to complete the Index: 15 minutes.
The EasyCOVID-19 project is now recruiting people to help us simplify COVID19 terms. Please help us by visiting our EasyCOVID-19 crowdsourcing app. This is the start of our project to simplify the COVID-19 information published by every country’s government websites.
We will start with Massachusetts. We will then expand to the other U.S. states. We will then move to the 18 English Speaking countries, then the 21 Spanish speaking countries, then the world! This will help many huge populations, such as people with cognitive disabilities, non-native language speakers, the Deaf, and seniors. When they understand how to be safe and healthy, the whole world will be safe and healthy.
The COVID-19 pandemic shows that, for all of us to be safe and healthy, all of us need to understand reliable COVID-19 information published on the web by every country. Our new and exciting EasyCOVID-19 Project is simplifying COVID-19 information (text) and transforming COVID-19 infographics and charts to make COVID-19 info understandable by every country’s huge populations of:
people with cognitive disabilities and/or low literacy;
Assistive Technology (AT) is experiencing amazing growth. An increasing aging population is creating new needs to address. Specialists are needed to identify user needs and connect them to the right AT. Assistive Technology used to focus on hearing, sight, or movement issues. Newer technologies are helping the way we learn and process information. These include:
Cognitive aids that help people with challenges in thinking skills
Recently, I learned about Assistive Technology programs at Tseng College. Tseng College is a part of California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Located in Los Angeles. One area that it specializes in is programs for mid-career adults. These programs are mostly online. This gives working people the ability to learn new skills on their own time. Instructors, classmates, and field experts create a supportive group environment.